Hong Kong Art Gallery Association & Asia Society Hong Kong Center


Back to Basics: Restructuring the Future

29 – 30 November 2019

JC Hall, Asia Society Hong Kong Center 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty Hong Kong

29 Nov 2019: 2pm – 6pm
30 Nov 2019: 10am – 4:30pm

The flagship programme of the week, the two-day Art Symposium, will bring together a roster of over 20 art professionals from the local, regional and international art scene on the 29th (Fri) and 30th (Sat) of November. The theme of the Symposium this year is “Back to Basics: Restructuring the Future”.

Returning for the fourth time and co-presented with the Asia Society Hong Kong Center (ASHK), the Art Symposium is an annual art convention which features a thoughtfully curated programme of talks, panel discussions and screening on topics relevant to the art ecology in Hong Kong and beyond. Some of the highlights this year include the screening of award-winning documentary Herb & Dorothy and a concluding keynote speech delivered by Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director of M+.


Doors open at 2pm

Day 1 | Friday, 29th November 2019

Session 1: ART MARKET vs CULTURAL CENTRE: Where does Hong Kong stand?

As Hong Kong grows to become an internationally recognised art market, what is the city’s progress in terms of cultural advancement? This panel focuses on Hong Kong’s position amidst the Greater China and the Asia Pacific region, lending an analytical lens to the challenges and opportunities it faces. Panel conducted in English.

Time: 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Main Speaker: Connie Lam (Executive Director, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong)
Panellist Speakers:

  • Johnson Chang (Founder & Director, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong)
  • Dr Florian Knothe (Director, University Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

Moderator: John Tain (Head of Research, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong)

Session 2: OUTSIDE THE CUBE: What are the alternative models to traditional art galleries?

This panel explores alternative physical models of gallery operations as well as the different relationships that can be fostered between galleries and artists, scrutinising the prospects of traditional models and new emerging forms that allow galleries to adapt, survive and sustain within the increasingly competitive landscape. Panel conducted in English.

Time: 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Main Speaker: Yng-Ru Chen (Founder, Praise Shadows Art Partners, US)
Panellist Speakers:

  • Yuko Yamamoto (Director, ANOMALY Inc., Japan)
  • Alexander Lau (Director-at-Large, Empty Gallery, Hong Kong)

Moderator:  Willem Molesworth (Director, de Sarthe; Vice President, HKAGA; Co-founder, Suitcase Institute, Hong Kong)

Doors open at 10am

Day 2 | Saturday, 30th November 2019

Session 3: YOUR SHOW SUCKS! Why does art criticism matter?

This panel takes a look at art criticism – its history, its present and its future – with a special focus on Hong Kong. It will explore the relationship between criticism and critical voice, considering the role that both play within the art ecology.

Time: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Main Speaker: Emily Verla Bovino,  PhD, Professor of Art and Architectural History, SCAD Hong Kong
Panellist Speakers:

  • Ulanda Blair (Curator of Moving Image, M+, Hong Kong)
  • Nick Yu (Development Manager, Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong)
  • Daniel Szehin Ho (Publications Editor and Project Director for Booked: Hong Kong Art Book Fair, Tai Kwun, Hong Kong)

Moderator:  H.G. Masters (Deputy Editor & Deputy Publisher, ArtAsiaPacific)

Screening of documentary HERB & DOROTHY
Director: Megumi Sasaki
HERB & DOROTHY tells the extraordinary story of a postal clerk and a librarian who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history with very modest means.

In the early 1960s, when very little attention was paid to Minimalist and Conceptual Art, the Vogels quietly began purchasing the works of unknown artists. Devoting all of Herb’s salary to purchase art they liked, they collected guided by two rules: the piece had to be affordable, and it had to be small enough to fit in their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. Within these limitations, they proved themselves curatorial visionaries; most of those they supported and befriended went on to become world-renowned artists, including Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel, Sol LeWitt, and more.

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Session 4: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE RICH: What does collecting on a budget look like?

This panel aims to shed a different light on the often intimidating avocation of art collection, where renowned collectors share tips and experiences in starting, expanding and sustaining a collection. Collectors with a limited budget will receive insight on options, timing and platforms, as well as how to collect as an investment. Panel conducted in Cantonese and Mandarin.

Time: 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Main Speaker: Dr Yip Shing Yiu, FRCP (Lond) (Senior Member of Min Chiu Society, Hong Kong)
Panellist Speakers:

  • Meiling Lee (International Specialist of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Phillips, Taiwan)
  • Hubert Li (Managing Director, Hong Kong Wine Vault, Hong Kong)
  • Ryan Su (Head, Art and Cultural Property Law, WMH Law Corporation, Singapore)
  • Du Yan (Entrepreneur and Contemporary Art Collector; Chairman, Asymmetry Art Foundation, China)

Moderator: Catherine Kwai (Founder & Managing Director, Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery; Co-president, HKAGA, Hong Kong)

Session 5: Keynote Presentation

Wrapping up the two-day Symposium will be a keynote speech by Suhanya Raffel, who will shed light on plans for the M+ Museum poised to unveil in 2020.

Time: 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm
Speaker: Suhanya Raffel (Museum Director, M+, Hong Kong)
Theme: M+: the Power of +. Hong Kong, Asia and the World.